Be Wary of Pressure to Invest Immediately

A true financial professional wants you to be comfortable and invest in what is best for you in your time. A scam artist wants you to invest in what is best for him or her as quickly as possible. Any pressure to invest immediately because the golden opportunity will be gone in a flash is a huge red flag that the investment may be a scam.  Take your time when making investment decisions and do not succumb to pressure to make spur of the moment, uninformed investment decisions.

Former Stockbroker Apparently Staged Disappearance

In Florida, the Sun Sentinel reported that Richard Ohrn, 44, a former stock broker who disappeared while fishing in the Atlantic ocean a month ago, admitted that he staged his disappearance by abandoning the boat and driving to Albany, Georgia.

According to the article Ohrn was trying to escape legal issues, including a suit by a former employer alleging that he stole from customer accounts.  FINRA records indicate that he was named in a FINRA complaint in December 2014 alleging that he converted $15,250 from two elderly clients by forging signatures. According to FINRA records, Ohrn, who is not currently registered, was previously registered with Wells Fargo Advisors

If you believe you may have a claim against Mr. Ohrn or Wells Fargo Advisors contact the stockbroker fraud lawyers at West & West for a free initial consultation.

SEC and FINRA Launch National Senior Investor Initiative Examination Program

In releasing a report on the National Senior Investor Initiative, the SEC and FINRA have reaffirmed the paramount importance of protecting senior investors.

Andrew J. Bowden, OCIE’s Director, said, “Seniors are more dependent than ever on their own investments for retirement. Broker-dealers are developing and offering a variety of new products and services that are intended to generate higher yields in a low interest rate environment. It is imperative that firms are recommending suitable investments and providing proper disclosures regarding the related terms and risks.”

“With the dramatic increase in the population of our nation’s seniors, it is critical that securities regulators work collaboratively to make sure that senior investors are treated fairly. The culture of compliance at firms is key to ensuring that seniors receive suitable recommendations and proper disclosures of the risks, benefits and costs of any investments they are purchasing,” said Susan Axelrod, FINRA Executive Vice President, Regulatory Operations.

For a link to the announcement of this initiative click here.  If you are a senior who may have been a victim of investment fraud or unethical practices by your stockbroker contact the attorneys at West & West, LLC by calling 410-296-4655 for a free initial consultation.

If Investment Advice Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Is Likely To Be Fraudulent

Old aphorisms are often helpful in ferreting out fraudulent advice.  One such aphorism is: “if it sounds too good to be true, it is.”  One unchangeable law of investing is that the higher the rate of return on an investment, the higher the risk of the investment.  Anyone who claims that a high rate of return or large payout is “guaranteed,” “very low risk,” or a “sure thing” is trying to defraud you.  If you believe you may have fallen victim to investment fraud, West & West in Baltimore, Maryland for a free, no-obligation, initial consultation.

Mid-Atlantic Stockbrokers Barred Or Suspended By FINRA For Taking Advantage Of Elderly Clients

George Wayne Hoffman from Parkville, Maryland, a former registered representative with H. Beck, Inc., was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.  That sanction was based upon, among other findings, that Hoffman converted $17,000 from an elderly client for his own benefit and improperly accepted a $36,000 dollar personal loan from that same client, which he never repaid.  (FINRA Case #2012032922101)

Constance Marie Larsen of Centreville, Virginia, a former registered representative with Pruco Securities, LLC was suspended from association with any capacity for two years for, among other misdeeds, accepting a loan from an elderly client. (FINRA Case #2013038483201)

To see a summary of all Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions reported for January 2015, please click here.

If you believe that you may have been victimized by George Wayne Hoffman, Constance Marie Larsen, H. Beck, Inc. Pruco Securities, LLC or any other firms or brokers disciplined by FINRA as reported in January 2015, please contact the Maryland investment fraud recovery law firm of West & West, LLC.